Yes Nikon d40 dslr. I know re the age thing as I was a bit worried about that but it takes lovely pics. I am not an expert or anything though.!! There are some good reviews on the d40 on amazon. I read through those to help me decide. They date back to 2007/8 but still valid and gives all the information you need. Price wise you are looking at 160 -£200 +. The cannon EOS 400d? Is very similar and with good reviews. Everyone in the know say don't waste your money on a bridge camera, if you want to learn and take real photos go for the DSLR. One on eBay looks good but I would go to see it first if possible. The D40 or the cannon is a good way to start to build up confidence without spending a fortune on a white elephant.
Imho age isn't necessarily an issue, esp if it's been owned by a geek who has treated it lovingly. My camera is from 2003, was new, still immaculate and has probably been treated better than my dc my mother was a photographer and her "newest" camera is 2002, whilst her "proper" slr (aka not digital) was bought in 1980
I've just seen this thread. I'm a part time wedding photographer and unsurprisingly photography is something I'm quite keen on.
In your shoes I would NOT get a D40. The reason being is that it is an old camera now and made around 2006. Camera technology has moved on leaps and bounds since then.
With a budget of around £300 I would recommend something like the Nikon D3100 which is a starter DSLR, brand new from Amazon, comes with 2 year warranty and if you buy it before the end of May an extra £30 cashback.
To compare the pictures, where you will see the biggest difference is indoors when the light isn't great. Older cameras will struggle to give you clean images. Plus the lens you get with the D3100 has Vibration Reduction (VR) which means it will try to compensate for shakey hands. Very useful if you are going to be shooting in indoors when shutter speeds are lower. It makes for sharper photos.
Another brand worth looking at if you don't mind 2nd hand, are the Sony SLT range which I personally think is a great starter SLR camera since the technology means you can use the liveview virtually all the time and the camera shows you on both the screen/viewfinder how the photo will look. In other words if you have your settings wrong and the photo will be too dark, the screen will also be darker. And vice versa. It's much easier to tell that looking at the light meter. The Sony A33 or A35 would be ideal starter models for you.
Nah, the Sony cameras i had used standard SD cards. They have a little slot now which will accept standard SD and also the Sony memory cards which noone bothers with.
I've used Sony until more recently when I decided to switch to full frame as any self respecting wedding photographer should. Unfortunately the Sony FF camera the A99 is ridiculously priced.
There are still many features I miss on the Sony cameras though. Top of the list being the live preview. It makes life so easy to be able to see when your photo is going to be over/underexposed.
The biggest downside of Sony is the lack of lenses. That said they have all the lenses that any amateur would want. The other bonus is that Sony camera body's have IBIS which is their equivalent of Vibration Reduction (VR). What this means is that every lens you attach is stablised unlike Canon/Nikon where you pay literally hundreds more per lens for that feature.
Add on top the fact you can get the legendary beer can lens which is a long zoom (70-200 f4) for < £100 and you have a very cost effective camera system to learn with.
I'd fully recommend Sony to anyone learning. But if you want to take your photography more seriously then I'd say look elsewhere like Canon/Nikon. But by that stage, you'll know why.